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Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) - Feasibility and Technical Assistance Grant

Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits, Municipalities,
and IHEs to Plan a Proposed Cultural Facility

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Mass Cultural Council and MassDevelopment

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/15/21 11:59 PM (ET)


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Grants of up to $50,000 to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and IHEs for activities to plan a cultural facility. Applicants are required to submit an intent to apply prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended to support research and fact-finding activities as well as analysis that assist applicant organizations in their efforts prior to the implementation stage of the proposed project.

The purpose of the Feasibility & Technical Assistance grants is to help managers and board members of cultural organizations get the objective information and analysis they need before they commit their organization’s energies and financial resources to a facilities project. Grants support costs and expenses related to overall planning and feasibility for a proposed eligible project.

Types of planning and technical assistance may include but are not necessarily limited to: Architectural and engineering plans, business plans and market research as it relates to a new facility, capital campaign feasibility studies, comprehensive facility maintenance plans and new project feasibility studies.

Organizations can also plan for Universal Design solutions to accessibility challenges in their facilities. Organizations can work with a consultant who will identify possible solutions that meet ADA, 504, and Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (MAAP) requirements, but go beyond to provide solutions that are an improvement for all visitors.

All projects must provide evidence that they meet these five statutory criteria to be considered for a Cultural Facilities Fund Grant.

  • The project is an “eligible project”.
  • There is a demonstrated community need for the project.
  • The project benefits tourism in the local area.
  • There is a demonstrated financial need for a grant.
  • There is demonstrated local support for the project.

In addition:

  •  A College or University must demonstrate that its cultural facility provides service and open access to the community and the general public outside of the regular educational mission.
  •  A Municipality must demonstrate how 50% or more of its facility is for arts, humanities, or interpretive science programming. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 139141

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants up to $50,000

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following entities (“Cultural Organizations”) are eligible to apply for grants for cultural facilities:
- Nonprofit cultural organizations: 501(c)(3) organizations that are primarily concerned with the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences. The legislation includes but is not limited to museums, historic sites, zoos, aquariums, theaters, concert halls, exhibition spaces, classrooms, and auditoriums (“Cultural Facilities”). Eligible facilities must be owned, leased, or used by one or more nonprofit cultural organizations, and must be accessible to the public.
- Municipalities that own cultural facilities: provided that the cultural facility is at least 50,000 square feet in size, and at least 50% devoted to cultural purposes provided. However, if such building, structure, or site is 125 years old or older and is significant in the history, archeology, architecture or culture of the nation, the commonwealth, or the community in which it is located, it may be of any size.
- Public or private institutions of higher education that own cultural facilities: provided that the cultural facility provides service and open access to the community and the general public beyond its educational mission and can demonstrate financial need.

Feasibility & Technical Assistance Grant funds are not available for non-facilities-related planning efforts (such as an overall organizational strategic planning); site acquisition; regular operating activities; ongoing staff positions; complete architectural drawings; fundraising or marketing activities; or publications.

Pre-Application Information:

Key Dates:
- Info session October 21, 2020
- Intent to Apply: Nov. 13, 2020
- Application Deadline: Jan. 15, 2021 11:59pm (ET)
- Notifications: May 2021

The online application, and all supplementary materials, must be submitted by 11:59pm (ET) on January 15, 2021.

Once you submit your Intent to Apply, Mass Cultural Council staff will create a folder for your organization in Supplementary materials must be submitted electronically via the Mass Cultural Council’s account. If there are materials you wish to include with your application that cannot be submitted electronically, contact Miranda Cook.

Please allow 1-3 business days to receive the email invitation after submitting your Intent to Apply.

Submitting the Intent to Apply is our way to check your eligibility before you fill out the entire application. It is the first section of the online application, titled the “Project Overview” page. The information here can be changed anytime up until the final application deadline. If you miss the Intent to Apply deadline, you can still apply up until the final application deadline. You do not need approval from the Mass Cultural Council after submitting the Intent to Apply to continue with the full application. Mass Cultural Council staff will contact you if any eligibility issues are identified.

All grants awarded by the Cultural Facilities Fund are subject to a 1:1 matching requirement.

Applicants may only apply for one grant per round.

If you are applying for a Systems Replacement Plan (SRP) grant in addition to a Feasibility & Technical Assistance Grant, you can do so without having to fill out two separate applications. In the Intent to Apply of your FTA application, select that you are also requesting an SRP. You only need to submit one set of supplementary materials, which will be used to make assessments for both grant requests.

Application process:
Information Session Recording:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To access the Intent to Apply and online application:

To register for an account, go to

Miranda Cook

Mass Cultural Council
10 St. James Avenue, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02116-3803
Tel: 617-858-2700
Toll Free (in MA only): 800-232-0960

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts

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